Another worthy blog to mention is the one found here
by classmate Hasan. I knew his blog would be a good one to look at because of the interesting pieces he’s done for our class, including the well-invested evaluation of the Gus Macker. His blog entries mirror the same enthusiasm and comprehensiveness seen with his assignments.
I especially enjoyed his entry entitled “Away From Home,” a description of his early college life and lifestyle transition. It was refreshing to read a perspective of someone who is so newly acquainted with a life independent of his parents, along with an attitude of anticipation to match. He talks about different aspects of the adventure he is just at the cusp of embarking on, including what chores he’s now doing and what new responsibilities he has taken on. He created an intimate tone with the details he added, such as the fact he went to a small-town high-school. I think my favorite part of his writing is this attention to detail, which is his ability to convey clean and concise honesty in written form and is thus a strength for him.
Also, the pictures he’s added to accompany the text are effective and match the themes well. I love the one below (taken from his blog) which he added in an entry about his evolution as a writer. The face of the cartoon actually represents his character pretty accurately.
above:street sign in New Orleans courtesy of videotechservices.com
I recently booked a flight down to NOLA for my family and I to visit my best friend who’s a student of Tulane University. Tons of people visit Nawlins solely to celebrate Mardi Gras. Others visit for Bourbon St. and the Quartier Francais. Others are drawn just from rumors about the amazing culinary and musical experiences. I fall into the small subcategory of Drawn to NOLA by Galia Binder. Now that she lives there, the fact that New Orleans is also a new and exciting cultural endeavor is simply the cherry on top. After visiting initially and learning a bit more about the spirit and feel of the city, I’m now also majorly enticed by my visits because of the countless adventures to be had and learning about how a different people goes about day to day life. I would say in this case I’m as much a “local” there as I am a tourist–that’s to say many now locals in Nola are originally from someplace else, and I’m a tourist simply because I’m making other people’s banality my own entertainment, as Jamaica Kincaid defines tourism in her article “The Ugly Tourist.” The thing that will never be banal about New Orleans compared to many other American cities, is the spirit of celebration that happens daily in the streets, stores, or on the radio. This sort of celebration is a slower pace that promotes relaxation much more effectively than a weekend at a beach.
Most years I simply stay home and work for Spring Break. That’s to say, I’ve never had that reality tv/Hollywood “Spring Break experience.” The drinking, the nudity, the beaches, the parties etc etc never were in the picture for me, nor was a vacation of even some low-key partying for Spring Break. Spring Break for colleges as advertised seems very over rated. I’d rather take a vacation some other time of year and save on airfare. Then again, I am secretly envious of all these people supposedly drowning in bliss and glamour on their Spring Break vacation.
Along with the “brand” of Spring Break comes a certain level of risk, which adds to the idea of indulgence that is “Spring Break.” According to CNN’s video clip on Spring Break Safety, some of the risks for Spring Breakers include sunburn, alcohol and its associated risks, hotel room break ins, and getting mugged. I associate what the media portrays as “Spring Break” as having its origin in the 80s with the surge of students in colleges, as bright neon swimwear on the beaches, as well as a certain culture of horror films in that era having to do with the blissfully unaware and sexually charged young adult who is being punished with terror for being so blissful and ignorant.
Recently I took a look at classmate Keanu’s Blog. I was interested in seeing his blog because his writing in the class workshops thus far has been great. He writes with an engaging tone and clear diction. What was particularly attention-grabbing in his blog was his entry about his trip to Germany. In the entry he shares information about what he ate, what sites he visited, where he stayed, and what surprised him about his trip. It was interesting to learn that he “had the privilege of visiting a local restaurant and ice cream shop which is a lot similar to its [American] counterparts…” which made his post very relatable since he was able to include a comment clearly denoting an American perspective.
The tone of the whole blog was very catchy. His opening words, for example, create a familiar and easy-to-read style:
“Unlike most freshmen in high school I was given the opportunity to travel to Germany all expenses paid.”
I like his idea to write about his own travels and include a photo from the trip. There is no better piece of writing than something that simply flows out onto the page because the writer has a personal investment in the task. I think I will draw from his idea and write an entry about my own travels soon.
The International Institute of Buffalo is a celebration of Buffalo’s growing diversity and ever-changing community demographics. Established in 1918, it was originally created to help exploited immigrants in the US. Its mission today has expanded to aid refugees, as well as immigrants, in becoming self-sufficient members of the Buffalo community through linguistic, cultural, and logistical training. In addition to helping refugees and immigrants, IIB is a manifestation of international connections in Western New York as well as a center for global culture and education for both immigrants and native Western New Yorkers.
An inspiring example of how the IIB is truly an integral part of the Buffalo community is how a friend of mine, a former classmate at my high school, came to America from Jordan (his family originally fled there from Iraq, before “stuff got bad,” as he put it) and was resettled by the International Institute of Buffalo. He came to my high school not knowing ANY English, managed to become fluent and pass the state ESL exam, and is currently attending UB pursuing a double major. What’s even more inspiring is how he now works at the Institute and at a similar place called Journey’s End as an Arabic translator and interpreter. He has managed to come full circle. It is cases like his that are prime examples of the success seen at the IIB.
pictured is a front view of the IIB from Delaware avenue in Buffalo